Times are hard for school systems across the country, so why is the Jones County school district, refusing $1.3 million in Race to the Top federal funds? The school system, located southeast of Atlanta, claims the funding comes with stipulations, requiring that over half the money ($900,000) be spent on paying teachers based on merit, according to WMAZ-TV. The school board voted unanimously to reject the funds. The money was too targeted and restrictive to help the district, Superintendant William Mathews told the TV station. Mathews also explained that research does not show that paying teachers based on merit works.
The need for Georgia law to provide more options for distressed kids is the focus of an editorial piece in this morning’s Savannah Morning News. The piece outlines a 12-year-old boy’s hearing in Chatham County. Under Georgia law, Juvenile Court Judge Patricia Stone had two options for the boy who was charged with armed robbery with a shotgun: jail or probation. The boy has had several incidents at school for fighting and has also gotten into three fights at the detention center where he was being held before his hearing, according to the editorial. It points out that kids like this should have another option that will provide counseling and supervision. Some experts believe the Children in Need of Services plan in the proposed new juvenile code is the answer. More information: